On second thought, great idea, UCF. Here are 10 more titles the SEC should claim
So, UCF won the 2017 national championship. No, I don’t mean the Knights actually won the CFP, because they didn’t make it. But they won all their games, and so the school has taken to buying billboards claiming a national title.
Plus, the Governor of Florida declared it so, so …
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) January 8, 2018
Of course, Alabama won the only title that matters, but that didn’t stop the Knights. You’d figure an SEC site would hate that, but no, we find it inspiring. Here are 10 titles the SEC is going to retroactively claim.
Hey, the same logic that lands UCF the title should work for Auburn. The Tigers won every game they played. They got squeezed out of the BCS title game on alleged strength of schedule. Instead, USC (playing illegal players) slaughtered Oklahoma by 36. Who’s the real champ there? USC cheated, Oklahoma got crushed, got to be the last team standing.
Hey, probation, schrombation. We’re living in a world where North Carolina’s academic fraud gets swept under the NCAA rug. Give Auburn another title. The Tigers were undefeated.
In the de facto title game, one-loss Miami beat one-loss Nebraska 31-30. You know who was ranked No. 3 by AP before winning its bowl? One-loss Auburn, that’s who. And forget competitive balance: Nebraska was the only ranked team in the Big 8, and Miami was the only independent team in the Top 15 of the AP Poll. Meanwhile, guess who Auburn beat out to win the SEC? No. 4 Georgia and No. 6 Florida. Smells funny to us.
Alabama was named the champion by some, but others picked USC, which beat Alabama during the season. Of course, the CFP era has shined a long light on this kind of thing. Alabama beat No. 2 Penn State in the Sugar Bowl to rightfully win the AP title. An early stumble? So what. Coaches’ poll champion Southern California lost two weeks later to unranked Arizona State. The Tide already claim it, but there shouldn’t even be a discussion.
1977: Alabama or Kentucky
Either has a solid case vis a vis Notre Dame, who was generally considered the champion. The flaw in Notre Dame’s case? Sure, the Fighting Irish went 11-1. So did Alabama. (Kentucky was banned from bowls because of probation but went 10-1). Notre Dame’s loss? To Ole Miss — 5-6 Ole Miss. The Rebels finished eighth in the 10-team SEC. On top were No. 2 Bama and No. 6 Kentucky, neither of which lost in conference and both of which suffered only early road losses out of conference (Bama at Nebraska, Kentucky at Baylor). Give the Tide and the Wildcats a parade. Split the title. (Although Alabama might smash the trophy from a split title.)
Honestly, we can just have a giant parade for Bama and Auburn together. The Tide got jobbed on this one. The title went to Oklahoma, which lost 23-3 in midseason to a Kansas team that wound up 7-5. Alabama also had a bad loss, 20-7 to Missouri, but it came in Week 1. Not only did Bama win the rest of its games, they won them all by at least 11 points until a seven-point victory in the Sugar Bowl. Oklahoma won five games by one score, including two by a point. Alabama would’ve smoked the Sooners.
All-time screw job here. Most voters split the title between Notre Dame and Michigan State after the two tied each other 10-10 near the end of the season in a game that should be more famous for gutlessness than for great football. You know who didn’t tie anybody? Bama. The Tide pitched six shutouts and only in Knoxville did they win by fewer than 10 points.
1960: Ole Miss
Minnesota went 8-2. Lost to Purdue, lost the Rose Bowl to Washington (back then the national title was decided before the bowls). Ole Miss was 10-0-1. The Rebels tied LSU. Who gets the title? According to the AP and coaches’ polls, the Gophers. Forget about dead people voting in Chicago in that fall’s presidential election. They might have voted in the football polls too.
Like 1960, I guess you had to be there. Ohio State went 9-1 with its one loss to a TCU team which finished 5-4-1. Auburn didn’t lose to anybody — in fact, the 10-0 Tigers shut out six opponents. Not good enough for the voters in the coaches’ poll, though AP did award Auburn the national title.
1950: Kentucky or Tennessee
One thing we know is it shouldn’t have been Oklahoma. The Sooners had a long undefeated run which Kentucky ended by beating them in the Sugar Bowl 13-7. By virtue of beating the (otherwise) champ and similarly losing only one game, maybe Kentucky should hold the title. Or Tennessee should, because the Vols were the only team to beat Kentucky. The Vols had only one loss, a 7-0 defeat early to Mississippi State. Kentucky certainly had a clear argument over the Sooners, as did UT in hindsight.